Gym Class


Last Thursday, Anne was one of two substitute teachers, teaching gym class during the grade school’s international week.  In keeping with the international theme, the gym class featured games from other countries.  First though the kids played Rock, Paper, Scissors with soccer style jumping jacks the penalty for the loser, as a warm up exercise.

The first real game was Giralke, a Russian game.  The class forms two parallel lines, with the students facing each other.  The students in each line are numbered 1, 2, 3, …  One other student plays the monster and stands in the middle, between the two lines.  When the teacher calls a number, for example five, the two students that are numbered five run towards each other and try to link arms before either one is tagged by the monster.  If the two numbered students are successful, they get to go back into their lines.  If one of the students are tagged first by the monster, then that student becomes the new monster and the old monster takes their place in line.

The second game was Cheetah, Cheetal, a game from Kenya.  A cheetal is a fast gazelle.  The class is divided into two teams, the cheetahs and the cheetals.  Each team lines up facing the other teams, like in Girakle.  The teacher then starts calling out “cheeeeee… “, stretching out the first syllable, and then finishes calling either “tah” or “tal”.  The called team becomes the predator and chases after the other team, the prey.  The prey team runs away from the called predator team and tries to get to a base, a white line behind them.  If the predator team tags a member of the prey team the tagged student joins the predator team.  Between rounds the two teams alternate predator/prey roles.  This seemed to be the students favorite game.

The third game was Grab It, a game from Ghana.  As in the previous games the class lines up into two parallel lines.  This time though the two lines have a head of the the line and an end.  In between the two lines, in the center, on the ground, is a handkerchief.  When called, the two students at the head of their lines run towards the handkerchief.  This is where the strategy begins.  Do you grab it, the handkerchief, or not?  If you grab the handkerchief you must make it back to the end of your line before being tagged by the other student.  If you succeed, you and the other student join the end of your team’s line.  If you are tagged you join the end of the other team’s line.

These games are reminiscent of a game I used to play in grade school called, Red Rover.  I think it is British in origin.  It was more a contest of strength then speed.  When called, you had to bash through the other team’s line.  This generally led to institutionalized beatings of the smaller kids by the bigger kids.  Like Cheetah, Cheetal and Grab It everyone ends up on the winning team, but with some grudges.

OBTW, $1.85, $3.52, what Anne paid per gallon to fill her tank today and what Anne paid per gallon the last time she filled her tank.

3 thoughts on “Gym Class

  1. Today I got to be a high school gym teacher. I was supposed to be someone else, so I was not dressed for PE. Fortunately, Mr. Meyers, the other PE teacher was there, so it wasn’t too bad. They were doing a Heroes Week, commemorating veterans. One of the workouts we did today, was named for Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal who died in Afghanistan in a Taliban attack. The Murphy workout as originally written consists of:
    1. Run two miles, (modified to 800 yards, or two laps around the football field.)
    2. Do one hundred pull-ups.
    3. Do two hundred push-ups.
    4. Do three hundred squats.
    5. Run another two miles (800 yards).
    That’s all.

    Roight, as KW would say. Needless to say, I didn’t do all that. I did walk the track 31/2 times. One of the students did do the whole thing, Yeah, Robert!, but most slacked off a lot.

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